My Books are in Purgatory, or: a Journey in GIFs. Check Out THESE Books Instead?

by | Apr 17, 2018 | Catholic Mom Book Review, My Book | 18 comments

Update: the books are back in stock on Amazon!


Well, that book launch didn’t go exactly according to plan. I was going to wait to publish this post until I could tell you the books were available again on Amazon, but they’re still not. They ARE currently available as PDFs in my Etsy shop. If you bought any of the books before I took them down from Amazon, I’ve got some possible solutions for you, down at the bottom. Plus four amazing books you can get NOW to read while we wait (and wait and wait and wait) . . .

Here’s what happened in case you missed it

The tl:dw version is: I inadvertently made the sign of the cross illustration in all three books in the Eastern rite style, with the right shoulder before the left shoulder, rather than Roman rite style, which is left shoulder then right shoulder. This is that version:

It is customary in both rites to use the right hand, whether one is left or right handed. So, as it was, it didn’t even work as a mirror image, since they’d have to be using their left hands. But that made me realize that it’s probably easier for kids to learn by looking at a mirror image anyway, so I redid the pages as the characters looking into a mirror, with clearer instructions for grownup helpers. This is what they look like now:

So, overall, I’m happier with the concept, but I’m not loving the timeline upon which it all happened.

I showed proofs of the book (and the sign of the cross page in particular because it was my favorite 😕) to my husband and kids, to my Catholic blogging mastermind group, to my Catholic makers group of over two hundred Catholic artists, and to my IRL friends at our parkday. And none of us noticed it was backwards. But within a few minutes on Instagram . . . YOU guys noticed, Emily first.

So, my initial reaction is . . .
And I start typing up a reply about how you’ve got to hold the book up next to you. But then I’m like . . . 
it must be a mirror image. But it wasn’t.
It was just wrong.
So I texted the husband.
It was.
I disabled the books on Amazon. I redid the images. (Sarah O’leary is the artist for all the books, but I did the design and built the sign of the cross pages myself out of her illustrations.) I recreated the PDFs and re-uploaded them to Createspace. It’s supposed to take 24 hours for them to review the files for content and formatting. So I waited.
And waited.
And first thing the next morning, ahead of schedule, I got three emails from Createspace for the three books. One was approved. Two were rejected because the border design includes images that get trimmed off during the printing and binding process. Even though that was my intention and they are clearly patterns and all the books had been approved first try last time and the borders hadn’t changed at all since then.
So I called and requested a review of the previous review. And they said up to two business days for that.
And I’m looking at my email like . . .
And today I heard from them and now they’re saying the problem is that the books aren’t formatted to the correct size. Even though they are. And they’re saying that the number of pages has changed since I uploaded them the first time. Even though it hasn’t.
So I call customer service and the gal’s like, “Yeah. You’re right, I can see here that none of that has changed. That’s so weird.”
Me: “So, can you approve them?” Her: “No. That’s the approval department. They have to approve the files.” Me: So, can I talk to them?” Her: “No. They don’t have a phone.”

So the books continue to languish in book purgatory, until they (or I) have become sufficiently detached from worldly entanglements, which I’m told is up to two business days.

So, anyway, if you bought the books already, the sign of the cross page will be backwards in your books. You can . . .

1. Become Byzantine. Problem solved.
2. Download these files and glue in a replacement page of the mirror image sign of the cross page, or a patch that corrects the image as is. Clink link here 👇.

My Prayer Book: Sign of the Cross Pages + Patch

I’ve included the original/backwards/Eastern rite pages there as well, in case Eastern rite folks want to sub in that page once the new version is for sale.
3. Return the book to Amazon, and re-order when the new one becomes available. Amazon will destroy the returned books.
4. Mail your copies of the book to me (each weighs 2.8 oz and is 6×9 in). Once the new version is available, I will order a box of them and ship the new ones out to everyone. Then I will find an Eastern rite home for the returned books. If you prefer not to wait for that shipping timeline (it would be probably 2 weeks?), you can re-order for yourself on Amazon Prime and I will give you a $15 credit for anything in my Etsy shop. Email me at for more details and/or my address.
Looking for a book you can actually BUY? And ya know, read? Well, I’ve got some recommendations in that department.

1. Made for This: The Catholic Mom’s Guide to Birth by Mary Haseltine

This is the book the Catholic world didn’t know it needed. But it TOTALLY did. It’s a comprehensive look at birth through a Catholic lens. And for as life-changing an event as giving birth, what a blessing that is!

This book is a whole person resource for the spiritual, physical, emotional, medical, and practical aspects of birth. It is for all types of birth. It supports all types of women who have had all types of experiences. It is a book for a first time mom or a great grand mulitpara. I’d even recommend it for women whose childbearing is ahead of or behind them. It’s just a well-written, thoughtful, informational look at an important subject from an important perspective.

And I wrote a tiny bit of it.

You can get it here.

2. Catechism of the Seven Sacraments By Kevin and Mary O’Neill

I went to grab this book to take pictures of it for this post tonight, and it wasn’t where I was sure I had left it, sitting on my desk. I started retracing my steps around the house, trying to figure out how I could have been carrying this very hefty, sturdy, hardcover book around with me and not remember doing it, when I had a thought of where it might be.

And I was right.

Gus (10) had snatched it from my desk and was reading it in bed.

This is an impressive book. It tackles Biblical history from creation to salvation, and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s teachings on Covenant Theology in a fun, accessible, LEGO-based format. Strange but true.

Super cool.

Get it here.

3. The Literary Medicine Cabinet: A Guide to Self-Care Through Good Books by Haley Stewart

This is a charming concept and an excellent resource. Haley shares a list of truly excellent books, and exactly why and when we should read them. (I love the cover art too, by Katrina of Rose Harrington Art. So fun.) If you’re wondering which book to pick up next, pick up THIS book, and then you’ll know.

Haley has offered a discount code for us too, yay! $1 off for Catholic All Year readers by using the code ALLYEAR.

Find it here.

4. One Beautiful Dream: The Rollicking Tale of Family Chaos, Personal Passions, and Saying Yes to Them Both by Jennifer Fulwiler

Okay, this one isn’t quite available yet. But you can pre-order it.

And look how amazing the cover is! (Yes, I do have book covers on the brain right now.)

I haven’t read it yet, but I wanted to share this now, so you can check out Jen’s book trailer and BOOK TOUR and pre-order the book here. She’s not coming to California. Boo. But maybe she’s coming to you!

Okay, that’s it for me for tonight.

I will leave you with this . . .


  1. Mary @ Better Than Eden

    Argh! How VERY frustrating. I'm so so sorry. Thank you for sharing about and in my book, though! Now I'm extremely grateful I avoided any illustrations 😛

  2. Haley @ Carrots for Michaelmas

    I hope you are consoling yourself by the knowledge that your gif game is STRONG, my friend! Ugh. I am so frustrated for you. I hope it all gets sorted out so soon. Thank you for including my new book! <3

  3. Kristen

    Those GIFs…. I was laughing out loud. I'm sorry this process has been so frustrating though! The books are beautiful and fun 🙂

  4. Kati

    It is HILARIOUS that fix option #1 is Become Byzantine. Also, every business could take customer service lessons from you. I'm sure it's frustrating but you're doing great!

  5. Unknown

    I imagine this has been tremendously challenging, but it was all worth it to end with that final gif. Perfection!

  6. Ali

    Internal struggle between feeling sympathtic over the frustration and inanity of the whole situation and glad it all happened just for this awesome gif filled post – esepecially the finale.

  7. rodefamily

    Kendra I sat there for I cannot tell you how long and wondered if I was crazy. I couldn’t imagine that anything that has to do with the catholic faith was regional but JUST MAYBE a the sign of the cross was. Who knows?? I’m so happy I decided to say something when I did. I cant imagine how difficult it would have been to correct it a week or so later. ~Emily

    • Kendra

      Yes, I'm really grateful you did! There I'd be at the pearly gates, trying to explain to St. Peter why all these kids were all of a sudden doing the sign of the cross backwards. So embarrassing. The fixing part only took a couple hours, no biggie. Now if the waiting part could be over, that would be great.

  8. Katrina Rose

    I'm just kind of happy (only kind of) this happened because it made you write this post. Your GIF attitude is on point. But really, I'm so sorry for all the headaches! Also love how you will find a Byzantine family for the returned books.

  9. Ali

    Do you listen to the Catholic Stuff You Should Know podcast?
    One of the Preists on it, Father Michael O'Loughlin, is Byzantine.
    Also, thank you for the great book resources. I'm so excited about Made for This!

  10. Unknown

    Hello Kendra, long time reader but first or maybe second time posting here.

    I’m Byzantine so will happily buy a returned book!

    Just wanted to say you are amazing and i am so inspired by you and the way you raise your family. I can’t wait for the “big book”!!

    And I agree your are on point with the gifs, too funny.

    Lastly, you have a lovely speaking voice. Podcasts in your future? Oh please!!! I would love a podcast by you.

    Tina, NYC

  11. Amo

    Your husband's reaction is priceless! Such a man. "Well…I guess that's a lot of work." Lol! Let's call him when the ships start to sink because my reaction would be…not so calm.

    • Kendra

      It keeps cracking me up looking at it.

      He knows me so well though, it was exactly what I needed to hear in the moment. I always feel better when I have something to DO. He's good about redirecting my energy!

  12. NIcole Hough

    This whole thing is so incredibly frustrating, however you must doing something very, very right in order for Satan to be working so hard to keep these little gems out of the hands of kids. Just sayin'. And the GIFs are killing me! lol

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Hi! I’m Kendra.

For twenty years now, I’ve been using food, prayer, and conversation based around the liturgical calendar to share the lives of the saints and the beautiful truths and traditions of our Catholic faith. My own ten children, our friends and neighbors, and people just like you have been on this journey with me.

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